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Criminals and Predators Can Hijack Your Webcam – How To Protect Yourself

Did you know the webcam on your computer could be turned on remotely without your knowledge? That means criminals and predators could be watching you and your family and listen to your conversations all in the privacy of your own home. How do they do this? They hack into your computer and take control over your webcam and microphone. ALSO: your TV, Net devices and Smartphone can also be hacked.

Rossen Reports: Webcam hackers can spy on you in secret

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Criminal hackers and predators usually accomplish taking over your webcam by sending you an email with enticing links or getting you to click pop-ups or special website links offering a free download, e-card, picture or software service. Once you click, a program could be silently installed into your computer without your even knowing.

So, how do you protect yourself and how do you know if you have already been infected?

How To Protect Yourself

* Close your computer when you are not using it.
* You can put a piece of black tape over the camera hole in your laptop.
* Don’t click on email links from people you don’t know or any links that look suspicious.
* Make sure links go to the place they say. Links can be “camoflaged.” Right-click and check to see if the address is to a bonafide, respectable website that you trust.

* Make sure you are running a firewall program and/or anti-virus program. Your operating system may have a free firewall, or, if you prefer, there are free professional grade firewalls. Comodo offers one of the best free firewall products (aaa) that runs efficiently and quietly in the background, using minimal resources. Microsoft Windows comes with a free firewall.

There are a number of anti-virus programs such as Comodo, Kapersky, Norton, McAfee, AVG and Nod32. You will find a resource list of some of the very best free programs and scanners at the end of this article. Please note: Norton and McAfee are consdered bloated software; this means they will use considerable computer resources. They also may contain their own form of adware and browser addons.

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How Do You Check Your Computer?

How do you diagnose your computer to see whether any malware, viruses and other invasive programs are installed on your computer? You can use a free or paid scan service. Under NO circumstance should you EVER trust a pop-up on your computer that signals a WARNING or an ALERT that your computer has been infected. Do not trust ANY of these pop-ups or website notices. If you click on them, they may actually harm your computer and “blackmail” you into paying unnecessary money to “release” your computer back to your control.

Sometimes, their pop-ups will not close. In this case, use Control-Alt-Delete to open up your computer services and close your browser there.


RESOURCES

Free Virus and Malware Protectors
http://antivirus.comodo.com/ | Comodo Free Virus Protection
http://free.grisoft.com/ | AVG Free Version

Free Virus & Malware Scan Services
http://www.malwarebytes.org/ | Malwarebytes
http://www.comodo.com/business-security/network-protection/cleaning_essentials.php | Comodo
http://support.f-secure.com/enu/home/ols.shtml | F-Secure
http://housecall.antivirus.com | Trend Micro’s Housecall
http://www.pandasoftware.com/products/activescan/ | Panda’s ActiveScan

Excellent Malware Protection Services, Paid
http://www.malwarebytes.org/ | Malwarebytes
http://www.comodo.com/business-security/network-protection/cleaning_essentials.php | Comodo
AVG
NOD32

TV Camera and Network Device Protections
http://www.rapid7.com/resources/free-tools.jsp | Rapid7
http://www.rapid7.com/resources/free-security-software-downloads/universal-plug-and-play-jan-2013.jsp | ScanNow

Sources
http://todaynews.today.com/_news/2013/01/24/16641666-rossen-reports-webcam-hackers-can-spy-on-you-in-secret
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8039207.stm



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